Mr. Morris to Mr. Seward
Sir: I have the honor to transmit copies of a correspondence between his Highness Ali Pacha, minister of foreign affairs, and myself, relative to certain charges preferred by him against the American missionaries, and also a communication from the Rev. George Washburn, secretary of the American Board of Missions at Constantinople, upon the same subject.
A telegram of the 5th of April, from New York, was received here on the 16th instant, announcing the capture of Richmond and Petersburg, and the great victories of General Grant, which accompanied this glorious achievement. [Page 284] The news created intense excitement, particularly among the commercial classes, and is regarded by all as a forerunner of peace and the re-establishment of the American Union in its pristine vigor. This event, and the victories of General Sherman which preceded it, have created a most salutary impression in relation to the strength of the government of the United States, and its ability to defend itself against domestic or foreign aggression. Never was the United States more feared and respected than it is now, in Europe, and never did our form of government more signally vindicate its self-sustaining power. The administration of President Lincoln extorts, even from its former most implacable enemies, the highest eulogies for its skill, energy, and consummate sagacity and wisdom with which it has conducted this gigantic war for the preservation of the Union.
To none, however, has this news of the successes of our arms given more gratification than to the members of the cabinet of the Sultan, who now, as during the whole progress of the war, have never failed to manifest their sympathy with the Union cause, and their wishes for its triumph. As I have related in previous despatches, the Sultan has himself personally, to me, before the diplomatic corps, on several occasions, given expression to similar sentiments.
I have been accustomed to say to foreigners that the maintenance of the Union was not exclusively an American question. It is one which interests man kind at large as much as ourselves, and, in pouring out our blood and treasure for its defence, we are only fighting a battle for the interests of universal humanity. Its overthrow would be a disastrous check to modern progress, while its maintenance upholds a government that stands as a pillar of light to guide mankind to the redemption of its usurped rights, and to encourage it in its struggles with those rulers who use power to found dynasties on the oppression of the masses.
This is the light in which the American question is regarded by all on this side of the Atlantic who have really any sympathy with the welfare of the human race, and the day is not distant when the United States, rising, phœnixlike, with renewed strength from the flames of war, will exercise a greater moral power over the civilized world than any of the great states of Europe.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.